Cycling is by nature a calorie-burning activity, but not everyone has the time to take a long ride several times a week to get the benefits of a high-calorie burn. By using advanced training techniques, you can burn major calories on the bike in minimal amounts of time. Not only will you burn more calories, but you will also improve your endurance.
One of the best ways to maximize your calories burned in a short amount of time on the bike is to work intervals into your ride. By adding short periods of time during which you are raising your heart rate to higher than normal levels, you can greatly increase your overall calorie burn.
Here is a very basic interval program that will dramatically increase your calorie burn during a short ride.
1. Warm up for five minutes at 30 to 50 percent of maximum effort.
2. Ride for one minute at maximum effort.
3. Recover for two minutes by riding at 50 to 75 percentof maximum effort
Repeat the intervals for 20 to 30 minutes and follow with a cool-down period of riding at 30 to 50 percent of maximum effort.
Following this program will not only help you burn more calories, it will also help you increase your maximum speed and build endurance more quickly than long, slow rides.
Climbing Out of the Saddle
Sitting back in a high gear and spinning is the easiest way to survive a tough climb. When you stand up in the saddle during a climb, you burn at least 10 percent more calories than you do when you are seated. Find a hill near your home that you find challenging, but not intimidating and give this routine a shot to increase your calorie burn.
1. Ride for five to 10 minutes at 30- to 50 percent of max effort to warm up.
2. Begin your climb in an easy gear and spin at 75 to 85 revolutions per minute.
3. Shift up a gear and then stand up in the saddle to finish the final 10 percent of the climb.
4. Ride at 50-75 percent of max effort for five minutes to recover.
5. Repeat climb sequence 3 to 5 times.
6. Ride for five to 10 minutes at 50 to 75 percent of maximum endurance to cool down.
Heart Rate Zone Training
The first step to training within your heart rate zones is to determine your maximum heart rate. The standard method is to take your age and subtract it from 220. Now that you have your max heart rate, you can determine the three zones that you will work in. Zone one is 65 to 75 percent of your max. Zone two is 80 to 85 percent of your max heart rate and zone three is 86 to 90 percent of your max heart rate. Use a simple heart rate monitor that can be worn on your wrist to work through this workout.
1. Five to 10 minutes warm up at 50 to 75 percent of max heart rate.
2. Two minutes in heart rate zone two.
3. One minute in heart rate zone three
4. Repeat steps two and three between three to five times.
5. Ride for five to 10 minutes at 50 to 75 percent of max heart rate to cool down.
Article Written By Mati Bishop
Mati Bishop has been a freelance writer since 1999. He has been published in "Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine," the "Hawaii Wellness Directory," "Kailua-Kaneohe Sunpress" and a collection of Web sites. Bishop studied journalism at Windward Community College on Oahu, Hawaii.